For weeks, online rumors have swirled that Lucasfilm had found its live-action Ezra Bridger in Mena Massoud. If the actor sounds familiar, it’s because he also played the leading role in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin (2019).
To date, however, there had not been confirmation of Massoud’s casting. Now, though, the actor himself seems to have subtly confirmed that he will be joining the Star Wars universe as the Jedi character.
Massoud posted a shirtless black and white photo on Instagram with the caption:
Hey, just so you know, when I escape, I won’t hurt any of you.
While Massoud didn’t explicitly say he’s playing Bridger, this is a line the animated version of the character said to a group of stormtroopers in a Star Wars Rebels Season 2 episode called “Stealth Strike”. He had been captured by Imperial forces and was confident he would get away.
Official confirmation of the casting has not been provided by Lucasfilm or Disney at this time.
How will Bridger tie into the live-action Star Wars story?
Reports indicate that The Mandalorian spinoff series, Ahsoka, will serve as a live-action sequel to Star Wars Rebels after an animated follow-up series was scrapped.
The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 5 (“Chapter 13: The Jedi”) set up the premise of Ahsoka. Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) fought Corvus Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Insosanto) and learned that Grand Admiral Thrawn was acting as the Magistrate’s “master.”
We can expect Ahsoka to pick-up with Tano searching the galaxy for the Thrawn and Bridger, who sacrificed himself in the Star Wars Rebels series finale.
Casting for Thrawn has not been announced, but many Star Wars fans want Marvel star Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark) to take-on the villainous role.
True to form, at this time, Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni have confirmed very little about The Mandalorian Season 3 or any of its spinoffs — Ahsoka, Rangers of the New Republic, and The Book of Boba Fett.
The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, and Rangers of the New Republic will function as “trilogy” of interconnected series that culminate in an epic streaming event.
It is possible that these shows will introduce the World Between Worlds in live-action for the first time. This would track with both Din Djarin actor Pedro Pascal’s assertion that The Mandalorian will jump timelines and with the fact that we know Tano will be looking for Thrawn and Bridger.
The upcoming series may also have other connections to the popular Star Wars Rebels animated show. Following Gina Carano’s firing, reports surfaced that a live-action version of Ghost ship pilot Hera Syndulla (voiced by Vanessa Marshall) would take the place of Cara Dune in Rangers of the New Republic.
Since Syndulla was romantically tied to Ezra’s Jedi Master Kanan Jarrus — the two even had a son, Jacen Syndulla — her live-action debut would open the door for Jarrus to show-up in flashback scenes prior to his death.
Furthermore, Rosario Dawson herself teased the possible appearance of another member of the Ghost’s Rebel crew, Sabine Wren. As a matter of fact, some astute Star Wars fan theorists think Wren might have already surfaced in The Mandalorian Season 2.
There is no release date for the third season of The Mandalorian, Ahsoka, or Rangers of the New Republic. Favreau has shared that The Book of Boba Fett is the “next chapter” of The Mandalorian saga. It will air in December 2021.
Do you think Mena Massoud will be a good Jedi Knight as Ezra Bridger?